Tag Archives: Barco

China Cinema Digest – Thursday 12 February 2015

China digital cinema satellite

China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television’s (SAPPRFT) Digital Program Management Centre has inaugurated a test NOC for the satellite distribution of DCP copies of films. It is not clear which cinema are participating in this, but it’s one to monitor.

The platform now has 90Mbs ~ 120Mbs sent per second speed, which can be transmitted nearly 10,000 theater 400 films annually. Start platform replaces the traditional hard mail, movie digital copy within eight hours after the service platform can be transferred to the theater, greatly improving the film transmission speed, ensure the film’s nationwide simultaneous release. Satellite transmission uses a multipoint broadcast mode, with the increase in the number receiving theater, film distribution costs will be further reduced and ultimately may be able to provide more opportunities for outstanding movie theater screen board, so the theater with the audience more viewing choices, promote development and prosperity of the movie industry.  LINK

China cinema Wanda

Lots of juicy cinema statistics from Win Business Network, ranking cinema operators and cities in China, with Wanda ahead but finding it difficult to keep up the momentum.

Core Tip: from the theater suggests that, in order to develop the industry benchmark Wanda 7 above the main multiplex cinema, theater and other core cinema hall in 4-6 dominant. Taking into account the number of people viewing a single screening decreased year by year, other core cinema hall may need to consider increasing the number of (screen number) in order to increase the theater box office.

2015, Tencent Finance jointly launched nine square big data “Chinese hot industry rankings” series, this series will become the benchmark single-ranking Chinese industry and investment field in 2015.  LINK

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Laser, the Next Big Digital Transition as the Xenon Lamp Fades Away

NEC laser projector

This year (2015) is definitively the year the world became completely digital as Sundance Film Festival announced that not one film shown was on celluloid-film. Most of the major markets are now completely digital. If you listen carefully, you can hear tens of thousands of cinema owners letting out a sigh of relief as they think now that the transition is over they can forget about it for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately this is not the case.

The use of lasers as a light source has been an interesting topic for many years. It has taken a change in government restrictions/regulations to put a rocket under laser, and it is literally taking off. We now have Barco and Christie with LPF (Large Premium Format) offerings. But more importantly, it is the NEC BPP (Blue Pump Phosphor) that is of most interest.

Recently Bill Beck, now at Barco, did a detailed techical presentation of Laser for SMPTE. After watching this presentation and a number of follow up Emails, it became clear to me that BPP-based laser projectors would flood that market in 2015.

NEC has shown BPP-Laser works well with small screen solutions.  This year we will see the next generation of BPP-Laser projectors based on more effective Blue Lasers allowing BPP-Laser based projectors to replace small, medium and potentially large cinema projectors. It was also made very clear that Xenon, at current prices, would quickly be overtaken by laser, making Xenon solutions obsolete.

This leads to a realisation of another equipment transition. If projector vendors stop making Xenon projectors, this would eventually lead to Xenon lamps no longer being manufactured, and we are back to a similar situation to film.

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Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 26 January 2015

Imax Carnival Vista

USA – Given how large cruise ships have become it was inevitable that sooner or later one of them would get an Imax cinema.

Carnival is partnering with entertainment innovator IMAX® to bring the world’s most immersive cinematic experience to sea with the first-ever IMAX® Theatre on a ship. Guests will take in the latest Hollywood blockbusters, IMAX classics and IMAX documentary content on a screen that’s three decks high. Next door at the Thrill Theater, moviegoers can enjoy a multi-dimensional special effects experience. Both are part of the Carnival Multiplex, a first at sea for film fans, complete with concession stand offering popcorn and movie snacks. The Warehouse, featuring a variety of video and arcade games, is located adjacent to the Carnival Multiplex.

The largest ship in the fleet, Carnival Vista will measure 133,500 tons, 1,055 feet long and have a guest capacity of 3,936 (based on two per cabin). The new vessel will debut May 1, 2016, with a 13-day cruise departing from Trieste, Italy — the first European voyage for Carnival in three years.  LINK

Theory of Everything

Having evicted a man in a wheelchair last week, Odeon is then unable to provide access to a screening of “The Theory of Everything” for – wait for it – a boy in a wheelchair.

An Odeon cinema in Harrogate has told a disabled boy that they couldn’t accommodate his wheelchair for any of its nine weekend screenings of Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything – including ones on national Disabled Access Day.

His mother Kelly told the Mirror: “He said to me the film was supposed to inspire people but how can somebody in a ­wheelchair be inspired if they can’t see it? I cried when he said that.” The boy, 12-year-old Joe France, said that he was “disappointed”, as “Stephen Hawking is one of my top three heroes. I thought it was going to be a very special day.”  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 14 January 2015

AMC Wanda logo

USA (NV) – Is AMC going to ditch Imax for Dolby Cinema? Of course not, but this and other nuggets emerge from a Citi Global Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference transcript with AMC’s Craig Ramsey, EVP and CFO, where he talks about the company’s five different strategies.

But to my point about our proprietary brands, I want to do a plug on — and we love IMAX. I’m not being negative against IMAX, because it’s been a great partner. But if you think about it, really there’s only one party that needs to make the decision on the proprietary brand whether a film is in the big auditorium with the big-screen, the big seats, and the Dolby Atmos sound system that you’ve spent a ton of money on, and it’s us. Because you don’t have to reformat that film.

And so you can deliver, I think, an IMAX-like experience over a broader range of product. Some that hasn’t been. So I think the growth opportunity, at least for us, we’ve got 17 of our private label and I think we have a big growth opportunity in more rollout of our AMC Prime proprietary product. In some cases where we also have IMAX, because the two can be complementary. LINK

Worth reading in full – this is after all the exhibitor that has 67% of the screens of Regal but generates 90% of the revenue that Regal does. Read about the ‘recliner’ strategy. Nothing is more important in the US exhibition business right now than seating. Repeat: nothing. Not even Imax/Dolby Cinema.

I don’t know if you’ve been — we operate — I said 344 theaters. 55 of those theaters we have remodeled, which has included taking out two-thirds of the seats. Where we had three seats, we have one. And that one is a plush, automatic, motorized recliner, which gives the moviegoer seat east and west more room, and north and south more room. We’ve — it’s been an unbelievable positive response from the guest, more privacy, greater comfort.

What you may be thinking well, but you’ve taken all that capacity out of the auditorium. You probably are missing some attendance because of the sellouts.

On the whole, our industry operates on about 11% capacity utilization. There’s a lot of room in this business to take seats out and deliver a better guest experience through a better seat. Recliner reseats, take two-thirds of the seats out, and attendance on average in these theaters has increased 50%. In an industry that is experiencing declining attendance, our recliner reseat theaters are growing attendance by 50% year over year. Pretty dramatic.

cineworld-logo.jpg

UK/Europe – Cineworld’s diversification strategy of spreading out across Central and Eastern Europe (and Israel) seems to be paying off in offsetting declines in cinema going in the UK, where higher ticket prices still kept profits ticking.

Cineworld has unveiled a blockbuster trading update, saying its full-year earnings will be at the top end of analysts’ expectations after it managed to persuade British cinema-goers to spend more on their tickets.

The company said that while admissions in its UK & Ireland business declined by 3.7 per cent during the year, this was offset by growth of 4 per cent in the average ticket price.

Visiting cinemas is not a declining trend across its entire business, however.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 7 January 2015

Game of Thrones IMAX

The two last episodes of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” plus a new trailer for the upcoming season will screen in Imax. The show previously screened pre-release episodes theatrically, but that was ‘only’ George R.R. Martin’s own Cocteau Cinema in Arizona.

HBO and Imax have struck a deal to make “Game of Thrones” the first TV series to grace the theatrical distributors’ big screens.

An exclusive season five trailer, as well as the final two episodes of the fourth season, will get an unprecedented run Jan. 23-29 at 150 theaters in top markets across the U.S.

While the visual spectacle of the HBO hit makes it a natural for the large-screen treatment, “Thrones” will be digitally remastered to fit the Imax format.  LINK

Gravity 3D piracy Ciprian

UK – A film student who took a home-made 3D camera rig into a 3D screening of “Gravity” has been cleared of trying to pirate the film.

A film student has been cleared of trying to make a 3D pirate copy of the film Gravity at a Birmingham cinema – after a judge decided there was no evidence he had intended to defraud anyone.

Mr Recorder Nolan QC directed a jury at the city’s crown court to find Ciprian Florea not guilty of making and possessing a 3D camera with intent to commit fraud.

And the judge was critical of the decision to bring the case against the Birmingham City University film technology student in his third year.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Thursday 18 December 2014

Kim Jong Il puppet

“The Interview” may have been pulled from cinemas, but that won’t stop this freedom-loving Texan cinema chain from showing a Hollywood film making fun of North Korea’s leaders.

The Alamo Drafthouse in Texas was one independent cinema willing to brave the threat and show the film regardless, it said. But now that it has been cancelled, they have decided to put on a showing of Team America instead.

The cinema hailed that movie – which is about a North Korean plot to destroy the world – as “THE GREATEST MOVIE MADE ABOUT AMERICAN PATRIOTISM EVER”.

The showing on 27 December will be a free-to-attend, sing-along affair, and the cinema says it will be providing enough red, white and blue paraphernalia for everyone.  LINK

Russian cinema

Russia – The collapsing rubel is having an effect on Russia’s multiplexes, forced to seek changes to the terms of their leases.

Russian cinema chains are calling on owners of shopping malls where their theaters are located to adjust rental contracts against the backdrop of the weakening ruble, which threatens to drive them out of business.

Several large cinema chains, including Cinema Park, Karo Film, Kinomaks and Formula Kino, have sent an open letter to mall owners, requesting that rental contracts, in which rent is normally stipulated in U.S. dollars, be revised and rent fixed in rubles.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 15 December 2014

Wanda Cinema Line Logo

AAM Arts Alliance

Perhaps the biggest news announced at CineAsia was Arts Alliance Media partnership with Wanda Cinemas. It would be good, however, to have a bit more specifics on what exactly the deal entails for both parties.

The partnership will see AAM serving as a primary technology partner to Wanda with the aim of creating efficiencies, increasing revenues and improving customer experience across all of Wanda’s cinema operations. The partnership covers both existing business and future developments.

John Aalbers, Chief Executive Officer of Arts Alliance Media commented “I am delighted to announce this wide-ranging, strategic partnership with Wanda Cinema Line. The initial deal represents one of the most significant in cinema software history. What is even more exciting is that Wanda is a global player with big ambitions and we, at Arts Alliance Media, are going to be right there with them making it happen. Being able to work with such a visionary and strategic partner is very exciting, as it will help keep both companies at the forefront of innovation in the rapidly changing cinema industry for years to come.”  LINK

Orange Wednesdays

UK telecoms operator EE is ending its cinema sponsorship deal after more than a decade, though a new sponsor partner is likely to replace it.

Mobile company EE is to end long-running 2 for 1 cinema deal Orange Wednesdays in February 2015 after the company and cinemas could not agree a commerical deal.

An EE spokesperson said take up of the once “massively successful” offer had declined in recent years due to changing viewing habits:

“Orange Wednesday launched over a decade ago and at its peak was a massive success,” read the statement. “After 10 great years our brand has changed and our customers’ viewing habits have also evolved so it’s time to move on.  LINK

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CJ@CineAsia CineAsia University – Lasers

image

In an effort to provide updates on the CineAsia 2014 conference and trade show presently taking place in Hong Kong SAR, this post was written live, and in the present tense, during one of the conference’s presentations. Comments attributed to speaker(s) are paraphrased unless denoted specifically by quotation marks.

Bill Beck, The Laser Guy, Barco

Having confirmed that his business title really is ‘The Laser Guy’ Bill begins, “today I’m going to explain ‘why’ Barco laser.” Mentions the press release yesterday with the milestone of 50,000 Barco screens and Barco also market share leader in laser cinema.

From components to integration.
- First high brightness laser projector 2005,
- First and only cinema-optimised laser projector,
- First and only Integrated cinema media processor 4K3D at 60fps,
- First commercial integrated 6P laser projector.

Also award winner – Lumiere 3D AIS Award and BIRTV 2014 Grand prize.

“Most important point: no lamps. Will save the cost of 120 lamp changes. Super bright at 60,000 lumens. 6 Primary Barco Laser3D that works with all major 3D systems. Also integrates Barco Alchemy cinema processor. We call it integrated because light source is inside projector. Most safe and highest efficiency because the projectors are directly combined. Engineered and testedfor 30,000 hours. 63% more energy efficient than Xenon projector.”

Inside it is 6 Primary Laer3D sets – two each of red, green and blue. Bright, smooth and beatiful colour picture. Works with silver, matt, screen and active or passive 3D glasses. “Clean & Green” is the motto. Over 30,000 hours lifetime it provides 54,000 AVG lumens. Lifetime saving of 150,000 KwH savings over lifetime.

Improve audience experience – Improve exhibitor profitability. Dovetails with Escape, AE, Cinema Barco.

Commerciallly availlable and delivering globally. Installations in China, Europe and the Americas.

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CJ@CineAsia Monetizing Your Digital Investment-In-Theatre Pre-Show Entertainment and Lobby Display

image

In an effort to provide updates on the CineAsia 2014 conference and trade show presently taking place in Hong Kong SAR, this post was written live, and in the present tense, during one of the conference’s presentations. Comments attributed to speaker(s) are paraphrased unless denoted specifically by quotation marks.

Cinemas have been digitized, but for new cinemas that were not covered by VPF there is still a need to make money off digital and the pre-show. That was the topic of the second session of the second day of CineAsia, introdiced by Mark Shaw from Shaw Theatres. The talks were short and because the previous Christie session over-ran, everyone on stage talked extra fast.

Todd Hoddick, VP Global Entertainment Barco -  “You are going to see a lot of great ideas today,” he promised. “All about the ideas you see there are two things – we must improve the audience’s experience, give them an adventure and romance, something they can’t get at home. Secondly, drive revenue. These things will not be driven by VPF. With that, lets start the presentation,”  Todd announces.

1. Industry Overvew

Current state of digitization – mostly converted. Flashes up digitisation by continent (Latin America still lagging). “Most of our customers look for ONE partner they can trust. We are happy to partner with out friends GDC, Doremi and Audience Entertainment. Bring a full solution so you can have a choice of partners.”

“In mature markets we see very flat growth, maybe at most one per cent. Whereas in China we see tremendous growth. 14 screens per day in China,” Todd points out are opening.

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Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 29 October 2014

Regal cinemas

“Psst, wanna buy a cinema?” That seems to be the not-so-subtle message from Regal, the largest cinema chain in the United States, which unexpectedly put a ‘For Sale’ sign on the front door. Speculations immediately focused on Alibab’s Jack Ma, though my gut instinct is that he won’t be following in the footsteps of Wanda/AMC, primarily because his background is not real-estate and there are no obvious Chinese-US synergies to be had from such a deal. A sovereign wealth fund if not VC outfit is more likely to be checking Regal’s numbers right now. Variety covers all the other angles.

Regal CEO Amy Miles was tight-lipped about the issue on an earnings call Monday with analysts and media, only offering that the company’s board felt it was “an opportune time to conduct a thorough review of our options.” But in an interview with Variety for a lengthy profile earlier this month, Miles may have inadvertently explained why Regal shifted from bidder to acquisition target.

“We’re all excited about the years 2015, 2016 and I’m going to be aggressive and say even 2017,” she told Variety at the time. “I think that (in the) environment of very healthy strong box office, it’s a natural time to think, ‘OK that might be a good time for an individual to exit.’ Value maximization happens in that environment.”  LINK

Dolby Doremi Logo

The European commission has give its go-ahead to the Dolby-Doremi merger. The approval was expected but was most likely sitting in the IN tray of some EU bureaucrat away on holiday, or it might have gone through earlier.

Dolby Laboratories (DLB.N) on Monday received EU clearance for its acquisition of digital cinema technology group Doremi, the European Commission said.

The Commission, which acts as the competition watchdog in the 28-member bloc, said that while there was overlap between the two companies in the digital cinema servers business, the merger did not distort the market.

“The proposed transaction would not lead to any anti-competitive effects because of the presence of alternative suppliers, the fast-moving nature of the market and the ease of switching for customers,” the Commission said in a statement on Monday.  LINK

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